Former tennis greats beg Marion Bartoli to reconsider retirement decision
Former top tennis players Goran Ivanisevic and Guy Forget have urged Marion Bartoli to reconsider her shock decision to retire.
"What she did at Wimbledon was fantastic, but she will regret this decision when Wimbledon comes," said Ivanisevic, unable to defend his 2001 All-England title because of a shoulder injury.
"There is nothing like playing at Wimbledon as Wimbledon champion."
Former men's world number four Forget said the decision sounded too hasty.
"Marion is a very smart girl, she is so dedicated about the sport that I'm always very cautious about someone's quote right after a defeat," the former French number one said.
"I hope she is going to change her mind. You don't want to have regrets looking back. Being a professional player is such an exceptional job and you don't want to look back a few months or years later and think 'why did I stop?'"
He advised Bartoli to simply take a break rather than pack up her rackets for good.
"Don't rush it, just don't rush it," he said. "Take time, go to the beach for a few days, go running in the park, just get your head together … if you don't want to play the next week, just don't play it, if you want to miss the US Open, fine, but just don't quit. Don't take such a radical decision only a few weeks after winning the biggest tournament in the world."
French tennis federation president Jean Gachassin said he had not lost hope of persuading her to reverse her decision.
"Some champions have come back like [Kim] Clijsters or [Justine] Henin and I hope I will make Marion change her mind in the coming months," he said.
French tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou was convinced this was not the end of Bartoli's tennis career. "Marion, hope you are already preparing your comeback … I checked if we weren't the 1st of April when I read" he wrote on Twitter.